USGS' most fascinating Topo: Rozel Point SW (1969)
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The U.S. Geological Survey has been making their flagship paper map – the 7.5-minute quadrangle – since 1879. The ubiquity of these handsome maps gives them the familiarity of an old and comfortable pair of jeans to people from a wide array of disciplines; and by the time you get your geography degree, or your surveyors license, or your hiking merit badge, or your GIS certs... chances are you'll have seen and become familiar with hundreds of these maps.
For many of us in the U.S., the series' coverage and small scale (1:24,000 or 1:25,000) gave us the first "I can see my house from here" moment that fueled a life-long passion for maps. The knowledge that (almost) the entire country is covered at such fine detail is a source of comfort and amazement to me, even today.
Did I say "(almost) the entire country"? Yes. Including some rather strange quads, perhaps the strangest of which is this 7.5” topo of Rozel Point SW, Utah [gmap]. It's also one of my favorites. A few years ago I mailed a copy of it to my alma mater's map library with instructions to set up and hold it in the "(My Name) map collection". I have no idea if they actually did this or not. (Will somebody in Mizzou's geography department do some snooping for me and see if they shitcanned my generous donation? Many thanks.)
Anyone else got a favorite 7.5" topo?
For more map resources and imagery from this period in 's history, check out the Utah State Historical Society's website.